Hayden honors five in inaugural Hall of Fame inductions

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 4:34 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Five former Hayden employees and students were honored and inducted into the Inaugural Hall of Fame to exemplify success for students.

Hayden Catholic High School says it has chosen its Inaugural Hayden Hall of Fame 2021 Inductees. The categories include Hayden Alumni Achievement, Hayden Student Athletic/Activity Achievement, Hayden Staff Achievement and Hayden Contributor.

The high school said Rick Strecker has been honored as the inductee for Hayden Alumni Achievement. Strecker is a member of the class of 1976 and was the Student Council President and Athlete of the Year that ear. He taught physics and chemistry during his career at the high school and served as the President of Hayden Catholic High School for almost 20 years. Strecker was also head girls basketball coach and track coach, winning five State Championship titles. He is recognized for living out his faith with a commitment to serving Hayden Catholic High School students, staff and families.

Hayden said Mark Turgeon has been honored as the inductee for Hayden Student Athletic/Activity Achievement. Turgeon is a member of the class of 1983 and helped the basketball team win two consecutive class 4A state championships in 82 and 83. He attended the University of Kansas where he played for coach Larry Brown and in 1986 final four. When he graduated in 1987, he took a position with Brown and helped the team win a national championship in the 1988 NCAA Tournament. Coach Turgeon was inducted into the Topeka/Shawnee Co. Sports Council Hall of Fame in 2009 and is in his 11th season as the head coach for the University of Maryland.

The high school said it has posthumously honored Ken Bueltel as the inductee for Hayden Staff Achievement. Bueltel was Hayden’s basketball coach from 1953 to 1972 with a 309-152 record. He was inducted into the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Topeka Shawnee Co. Sports Council Hall of Fame in 2011. He was nicknamed the Silver Fox and was considered one of the forerunners among coaches for his use of the fastbreak and full-court press. Coach Bueltel also taught history and was the Hayden Athletic Director. It said he was also among those who worked to raise contributions to help get the Ken Bueltel Activities Complex first built in the early 70′s.

Hayden said it also honored Ben Meseke as the inductee for Hayden Staff Achievement. During his tenure as boy’s basketball coach, Hayden made 13 state tournament appearances in the Class 4A tournament, claimed six championship titles, including gone earned at the end of a perfect season in 1983. Meseke received the Kansas Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame award in 2010 and the Topeka/Shawnee Co. Sports Council Hall of Fame award in 2013. During the 20 years he spent at Hayden from 1973-1997, it said he also coached 19 out of 20 cross-country teams to qualify for state who claimed another six state championship titles. Meseke also taught math, including advanced classes in algebra and geometry, for 23 years. Toward the end of his career, it said he served as the assistant principal.

Lastly, Hayden said it has honored Ken McGarity as the inductee for Hayden Contributor Achievement. McGarity volunteered at the High School from 1977 to 2017 and accumulated 16,000 hours of volunteer work. He volunteered in various roles during his four decades at Hayden, among them concessions, spirit wear and the PACE auction. It said he helped implement PACE and was the treasurer until he retired in 2017. He was also dedicated to Hayden bingo and served as an assistant to the manager for a number of years. McGarity’s four children are also graduates of Hayden Catholic High School.

Hayden said these individuals all serve as role models and exemplify achievement to future students, staff and supporters. It said the high school and the Hayden High School Foundation are the sponsoring organizations of the Hall of Fame.

The school said nominations for 2021 were accepted from the public from June 15 through July 31. Noficiaiton sand announcements for the Inaugural Hall of Fame took place on Sept. 24 and a Hall of Fame Dinner will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4.

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